The latest World Bank report on the Philippines (please see enclosed link below) measured a GNP growth of 4% for the first half of the year while self rated poverty and hunger indices showed some improvement in the entire country save Mindanao. Still underemployment and unemployment continue to be high at 19.1% and 7.1% respectively. Net foreign investments of $838 million for the first six months is still one of the lowest in the region. But the country still had a growing financial reserves due to a combination of factors including continue foreign remittances.
The country is said to be well-positioned to absorb any new financial shock in the financial markets given the conservative practices in the finance sector and no systemic vulnerabilities in the overall corporate sector. Growth in terms of GNP is expected to be 4.2 in 2011 and 4.8 in 2012.
A key success factors to maintain competitiveness particularly resiliency to external shocks is increased public spending.
I would like the World Bank in future to incorporate some statistic that will measure the quality of life in the country like the Satisfaction with Life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satisfaction_with_Life_Index) to be able to put a human face to the numbers as well as try to see how it benefits the more disadvantage parts of the community. Strong GNP growth is good but if the benefits of this do not reach the poorest in society it only means the rich are the only ones enjoying them. On this index the Philippines is 78 out of 178 which places us in the middle. Australia is ranked 26.